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How to Play Tennis Like a Pro: A Complete Beginner’s Guide

Ready to take your skills to the tennis court? Play like a pro with these tips. Read on for a complete beginner’s guide on how to play tennis.

Alexander Zverev
Credit: tennisworldusa

Trying a new sport can be a daunting task. If you’re learning how to play tennis, there are a few things you should know beforehand.

Tennis is a challenging but rewarding sport. It tests every part of your body, toning your shoulders, arms, legs, and muscles you don’t use often. 

If you’ve become inspired to learn how to play tennis after watching the professionals, give it a shot. Tennis is a sport you can play for years, quite similar to the game of golf. This article will serve as your guide on how to play tennis.

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can even learn how to play doubles tennis. The game of tennis only gets more advanced as you play. Once you know the ruses of the game, it’s time to get into the game yourself. 

Grab a racket and let’s get swinging.

Grip the Racket

Learning how to hold the racket seems simple at first, but there are different grips you should learn and experiment with. 

The most common beginner grip and the main one we’ll cover is the Continental grip. You’ll want to use the octagon-shaped butt of the racket to guide your way through learning a grip.

As you’re looking around the butt of the racket, considering the top as Bevel 1. Working clockwise, the bevels will change as you rotate the racket. Make a v-shape with your thumb and place your forefinger on the top of the handle. Place the knuckle of your index finger and heel of your hand on Bevel 2. 

This is the Continental grip. This grip is key in every shot and is the most common way to hold the racket.

Make sure your dominant hand is at the bottom of the handle and your opposite hand is on the throat of the racket. Serves, volleys, and overhead swings are great for this type of grip. It resembles how you would hold a hammer.

Now that you’re holding the racket, getting into a stance is the next step in learning how to play tennis.

Get in a Stance

There are two stances in tennis — open and closed. 

Both have uses in different scenarios on the court, effective in different ball return situations. Make sure you’re trying to learn more than one stance. Having both in your arsenal will make playing different placed balls easier.

Every ball return requires one of the two stances to bring the ball under control. An open stance has both feet facing forward while a closed stance has the non-dominant leg at a 90-degree angle creating a preset natural rotation.

Before hitting the ball, make sure you’re in the ready position. This is referred to as an “athletic stance”. To get into this stance, place the feet wider than shoulder-width and bend the knees.

The athletic stance is often taught in the big three sports (football, baseball, and basketball).

The racket should be out in front of you ready to get into either stance depending on the ball. 

Returning the Ball

When the ball is hit to you, there are a few ways you can return it over the net. 

The forehand and backhand are the most common swings in tennis. Each is used in different situations. 

A forehand is versatile and powerful. Most of your groundstrokes will be hit with a forehand swing. This swing results in the most accurate ball path after contact. 

The forehand begins when you remove your non-dominant hand from the racket. Turn your torso, but keep your feet facing forward. You’ll then step toward the ball with intent and swing the racket palm side forward and follow through the ball. 

This should send the ball in the direction you’re aiming depending on your power.

On the other side of the spectrum, a backhand can be hit with both hands or one. 

You’ll make the same turn you did with the forehand, but swing the racket with both or one hand. The backside of the racket should come into contact with the ball and you’ll return back to your athletic position. 

Service Toss

Although the service is the most complicated stroke in tennis, it’s the only one you have full control over.

tennis serve toss starts and ends with the individual that’s serving. The same can’t be said for any of the other returns in tennis. 

In order to master this toss, you’ll need to angle your body at a 45-degree position. Your front foot should be facing the net post and your back foot should be close to the front. 

When you have your footing, use your off-hand to toss the ball into the air with medium speed. When it’s almost at the peak of its arc, drive your racket in your dominant hand over the top and through the ball. The tossing arm should naturally drop off after the opposite arm comes into motion. 

This movement creates plenty of speed and momentum. Although the service is one of the more complication movements, it’s the most important part of tennis starting each point.

Master Every Sport

Learning how to play tennis takes time and effort. Like most sports, this is the same across the board.

Understanding how to play tennis requires practice and plenty of information. Across the sporting world, you can find the same helpful information. 

On our website, we provide blogs and breaking news from every sport. Whether you want to learn how to play, master the art of fantasy drafts, or browse sports news, we have it all. 

If you’re looking to tune up your knowledge give us a try. Spend some time browsing our articles. We might have what you’re looking for.

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